John O'Neil


Health Sciences

John O'Neil


Health Sciences

Areas of interest

Global health, medical anthropology, Aboriginal health systems, HIV/AIDS & participatory research


  • BA, University of Saskatchewan
  • MA, University of Saskatchewan
  • PhD Medical Anthropology, University of California, San Francisco/Berkeley
  • Fellow, Canadian Academy of Health Sciences


Dr. John O’Neil is a Professor of Global and Indigenous Health. From 2007 to 2017 he was Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at SFU. Previously he was Director of the Manitoba First Nations Centre for Aboriginal Health Research and Professor and Head of the Department of Community Health Sciences in the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Medicine. He completed his PhD in medical anthropology in 1983 at the University of California (San Francisco/Berkeley).

Research interests

Dr. O’Neil’s work has been primarily in the area of Indigenous health. He has published more than 150 papers and reports on a variety of Indigenous health issues, including self-government and health system development, cultural understandings of environmental health risks, and social determinants of health disparities. Dr. O’Neil’s work in this area was recognized by his appointment as a CIHR Senior Investigator (2000-2005) and as the founding Chair of the Advisory Board for the Institute for Aboriginal People's Health at the Canadian Institutes for Health Research from 2000 to 2006. He also served as the research advisor to the health policy team for the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in 1995/96 and he is currently appointed to the Advisory Board of the National Collaborating Centre on Aboriginal Health at the Public Health Agency of Canada. He has worked as well on global Indigenous health issues in southeast Asia, circumpolar regions, Australia and Latin America. His current work focuses on health governance in First Nations in Canada.

Dr. O’Neil has also led a variety of research and training programs in global health in low- and middle-income countries. He was the principal investigator on several training and research grants designed to build local public health capacity in China and India in the area of HIV/AIDS prevention (2000-2011). He currently leads research projects in Vietnam on improving access to MCNH services for Indigenous women in remote areas, and prevention and treatment of depression through the implementation of community-based services.

Teaching interests

Dr. O’Neil has advised more than 60 graduate students at the Master’s, Doctoral and post-doctoral levels. His teaching interests are in the area of critical public health, global Indigenous health development, and participatory approaches to health research.


This instructor is currently not teaching any courses.

Publications and activities

View Dr. John O'Neil's publications here.